Do you remember the story of the woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair? She anointed Jesus with her ointment and cried at his feet. The Pharisee who had invited Jesus there said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” This religious man thought Jesus shouldn’t let this “sinner” of a woman touch him; I guess because Jesus should be above that. This is one of the many reasons I love Jesus. He knows who he is and knows who we are, but because of who he is he loves us anyway. I remember an incident that I witnessed once with my own eyes that sort of relates to this.
We spent a few days in Atlanta Georgia with a small group of people doing street ministry. We stayed in a shelter, helped feed people, ministered to some elderly and just served some of the less fortunate of Atlanta for a few days. One day we were all outside hanging out while a line of hungry homeless people snaked around the corner of the building. Greg, one of the guys with us, was talking with one of the men in line. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but I noticed at one point they were hugging each other. Later on I found out what had taken place. Greg was encouraging the other guy and went to hug him. The homeless guy said, “Don’t hug me I haven’t showered in three days.” Greg grabbed him hugged him and said “Its okay, I haven’t either.” We both just laughed! I thought that was one of the greatest and funniest stories ever. Greg was not going to allow anything to stop him from hugging this guy.
Jesus allowed the not so desirables of his day to be close to him and even to touch him too. That is how much God wants to be with us. He not only went as far as become flesh he also hung around people that the religious establishment had discarded. My friend Greg displayed that exact same quality with that odoriferous homeless guy. Greg wasn’t going to let him get away without a hug no matter how he smelled or what anyone else thought. That’s how God’s heart is toward us too. He wasn’t going to let anything stop him from embracing us and bringing us in close enough to touch him.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews four that Jesus is our High Priest but he didn’t hesitate to relate to us. It says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses…” C.S. Lewis, I think it was, said, “He knows what sort of a wretched machine we drive.” God in Christ understands our weakness and reaches out to touch and heal us even if we don’t smell so nice sometimes. Thank God he made the decision to love and come to us, because if not we certainly could have never cleaned up enough to approach him.
Written by Louie